People give many reasons why they get married. Some have very good reasons while others do not. Don’t get me wrong, I am not judging anyone’s decision to get married. Relationships used to be a scene of boy meets girl, they agree to date, love each other, understand each other blah blah then boy proposes, girl says YES, they get married and live happy ever after.
Nowadays relationships scenes are different. Lately, its boy meets girl, they start dating, they claim to love each other, long story short girl gets pregnant and boy must marry!
A friend, *Bisola had literally dragged me out of my house, on a Saturday morning to attend a wedding with her; she was a friend to the groom. At the reception we sat with some of her friends who were also friends to the groom.
The wedding was pretty cool, the hall was beautiful, well-managed with the space, and there was food and drinks, in all everyone seems to be having a great time. I got myself acquitted to Bisola’s friends that sat at our table. We started chatting about university days to work, music to fashion until *Samuel decided to change the topic.
“I do not understand, how all the wedding I attend these days the brides are all pregnant”, he said. I could see that everyone turned to look at him at once, it was then I stole a look at the bride and noticed her protruding tummy. She was pregnant.
“Things happen”, another guy said.
“Things happen? That ladies now use that as a way to force a man into marriage,” Samuel said.
“How can you say that? They have been dating over a year now,” Bisola said displeased.
“Bisola, what are you saying? Like you do not know *Yemi’s present financial status? He does not have a good job yet, his income is poor and his wife works with the government. So, you can now imagine their income and how difficult it is to live in Lagos and raise a family,” Samuel went on.
“I spoke to Yemi about this when he told me he was getting married but they love each other and can manage. Their status would definitely improve in the future,’ Bisola alleged.
Everyone started talking at the same time, explaining what they thought about the situation. I watched as each tried to get their opinion heard.
‘Do not get me wrong people; I know Yemi. He is a good man and I know he loves her but I just believe that most ladies are getting pregnant on purpose these days. You all know what happened between me and *Chioma. People are different and this situation may be different for them but on the scale of one to ten pregnant brides, seven of them did it on purpose,” Samuel added.
I was dazed at their conversations because they were discussing a topic that affects the couple we had come to felicitate with. What if someone heard them and informed the couple that their friend doubted their union? The topic lingered on more and I got to find out that Samuel’s ex had told him she was pregnant immediately after his NYSC and she had insisted that he married her. According to him, she was a lady he would have loved to settle down with but was not thinking of that immediately after his service because he was still unemployed at that time. He explained that he did confide in his parent about his ex and they agreed that she moved in with them, he had gone with her to register for antenatal with his mummy when they found out she was not pregnant.
I was so engrossed in their conversation that I began to reminisce on a situation that had led a friend to rush into marriage. It happened in my third year at the university. A course mate, *Edirin confided in me and a friend, *Cynthia that she was pregnant and was thinking of aborting the pregnancy. Edirin said that her reason was based on the fact that she was not sure about the paternity of the pregnancy, as she was dating two men at the time. One was an undergraduate in the university while the other was a young wealthy businessman who lived in Lagos.
At the moment, I did not think it was wise for me to say anything because I was not too close to her. Cynthia was the closest to her and the only reason she told me was because she knew Cynthia would definitely tell me. So, we advised her to think through about her decision again and try to inform the men in her life about it.
The following day at the lecture hall, she informed us that she had spoken to her mom and her mom had cautioned her not to have the abortion but should inform the rich businessman about it. She decided to take the next week off campus by the time she resumed she was wearing an engagement ring.
I kept my mouth shut. How could I possibly tell another woman, who was not sure of the paternity of her unborn child that she was making the biggest mistake of her life? Like my fellow course-mates I congratulated her and prayed everything worked as she hoped.
The following year, we resumed for our final year. Before resumption, Cynthia had informed me that Edirin got married (a small wedding) during the holiday but she did not attend. Three weeks later, Edirin was back to campus. She came with pictures from her wedding, told us how she was coping with marriage and all about her due date. She was different now; it seemed her lifestyle had been upgraded. She was spending excessively and giving out money to people unnecessarily. It was clear evidence that her husband was rich and she loved her new life.
Months, later into our final year and Edirin had still not put to birth. I never wanted to be bother by it until another course mate was delivered of a baby girl. Everyone knew that Edirin took in before her based on the information she told us. So, Cynthia decided that we should inquire directly from Edirin instead of joining other course mates to gossip about the situation. We paid her a visit at her hostel and she told us she would be due at the end of that month as she had just confirmed that from her doctor. So, we believed her and keep hoping she was fine.
But what visited our eyes the next week was shocking. I have never been pregnant before or do not know the actual size of a lady’s pregnant tummy but when Edirin walked into to the lectures hall few days later, it looked like her tummy has gone down. I did not bother to say anything nor ask for Cynthia what the problem was, I kept my thoughts to myself. The next week, her tummy looked big again, by this time I could not bear to keep silent anymore, I knew something was wrong so I went to Cynthia to find out.
“Cynthia, what’s up with Edirin?”, I asked. “I do not think she is fine and her tummy was not as big as this last week,” I said.
“Well, to be frank with you, I have suspected too but have been scared to ask.” She said.
So, we decided to go visit her at the hostel again, as we had earlier promised to study with her that day. We were about to take our leave when Cynthia asked, “Edirin, are you okay? It seems that something is wrong?”
She pulsed for a second and started crying. She told us that her pregnancy was in its tenth month already and she was so scared. She added that her greater fear was that some days, she woke up to find out that her tummy had gone down and other days its swells back up. We did not know what to say or how to console her about the situation.
“Edirin, I am sorry for asking you this question but do you go to church or have you prayed about it?” I inquired. She looked directly in my eyes and I knew my question was stupid but that was what I could say.
“I go to church; I have even spoken to my pastor about it. My mom have requested that I come back home this weekend to attend a revival,” she said.
“I am so sorry and we cannot say we know what you are going through right now. But we pray you would be fine soon,” I added.
Cynthia led us to a short prayer before taking our leave. We promised to check up on her from time to time. It took her time to heal, she left for home that weekend but we kept in touch with her. She and her mum became regular visitors to every revival or crusade or vigil around the country.
By the time she resumed for her final year, her pregnancy was gone, she told other people that she had lost the baby but only Cynthia and I knew the truth. During her revival sections, a pastor told her that her husband was responsible for the situation and she had to make him confess to her. She later discovered that he was a secret cult member and had used his unborn as a new sacrifice in his cult. By the end of our final year she was divorced and till date still single.
Often time, I do think about Edirin’s situation and how it had played out. What would you have done differently if you were in her shoes?
An edited version on this story was published on bellanaija.com
*Not their real names
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